THE OFFICIAL BROADCAST NEWS VOTING THREAD

Amy here, posting (late--sorry!) because Devin is out of town, that goddamned slacker.

QUESTION: Are James L. Brooks' ratings high enough to enter The Canon?

ss7
ss7
3 posts
28 replies

Victory.

jiml3
jiml3
0 posts
4 replies

Gah, doublepost, sorry about that.

jiml3
jiml3
0 posts
4 replies

YES of course.

jiml3
jiml3
0 posts
4 replies

YES of course.

jeves23
jeves23
0 posts
8 replies

No. It's fine, i enjoyed it. But I didn't see anything in it that I thought was Canon worthy.

gobeavs
gobeavs
0 posts
1 replies

No.

mmathur5689
mmathur5689
3 posts
49 replies

oh man I am on the fence with this one. I think there are a lot of great moments, some brilliant writing, and top notch acting. The movie is historically important, and eerily prescient. I agree with Amy that it's main points are muddy, but I heavily disagree with her "emperor's new clothes" explanation for the film's success. Come on, Nicholson you're better than that weak-ass IMDB type argument! I think I'm going to vote YES because I want an inclusive canon, not an exclusive one.

dutchtilt
dutchtilt
0 posts
9 replies

No way. Say no to saccharine.

nroberson86
nroberson86
2 posts
27 replies

NO. While I think Amy missed some of the valid thematic devices that Devin brought up, it is still just a decent movie that is not terribly memorable. Also, with regard to the cinematography, I kept thinking throughout that it looked like boring pre-HD television, and was connecting that to James L. Brooks being a TV guy first and foremost.

It's not a bad movie, but it's not one of the greatest. I felt less for this film than I did for Working Girl, which I also voted no on.

palomabennett
palomabennett
0 posts
3 replies

No because the Broadcast News is not a great cinematic film.

bummer_buddy
bummer_buddy
0 posts
14 replies

Yes!... But i like Working Girl more.

bummer_buddy
bummer_buddy
0 posts
14 replies

Yes!... But I like working girl more πŸ’…πŸΎπŸ’ƒπŸΎ

salvador9
salvador9
1 posts
1 replies

NO.

1987 was one of the best movie years ever. It was the year of Wall Street, Full Metal Jacket, Fatal Attraction, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Princess Bride, Moonstruck, Witches of Eastwick, Wings of Desire, and Babette's Feast, among others. Any of these is so much better than Broadcast News.

There are also many better Holly Hunter films, and maybe a couple better William Hurt movies.

mathew_whm
mathew_whm
0 posts
5 replies

No

rbrown1886
rbrown1886
0 posts
1 replies

Not a slam dunk, but I vote YES.

Ultimately I just agree with Devin this is a sad, sweet movie with great writing and great performances. So few 80s movies hold up today (note to Amy: you got this dude to watch working girl for the first time and I liked it too!) and I think this movie still has a lot to say about journalism and the people who perform it. I also agree with devin that Holly Hunter is enchanting in this movie.

Amy made some good points about Jane's character and this being a "guy romantic comedy," which I can't disagree with... but I strongly disagreed with her read of Tom's character. From the start, Tom is a sincere kid who is self-aware and wants to work harder. Dumb, sure, but he knows what he is good at. Aaron has the arrogance to think he can do Tom's job-- Tom never thinks he could out report Aaron, at least on non-fluff journalism. Plus, Tom sincerely tries to help Aaron in a way he never really reciprocates.

In the criterion collection DVD commentary James L Brooks explicitly says he thought they made Tom the most sympathetic character. Which is perhaps why this movie isn't as sharp in what it has to say about journalism as Network is. Guys like Tom don't show up to work everyday and say "I'm here today to ruin journalism a little bit more!" They just try to survive and do the job and in doing so start blurring the lines, bit by bit, day by day. I love Network, but this isn't satire... this is a more straightforward account of how journalism is changing at the time.

Another interesting tidbit from that commentary. James L Brooks says he initially didn't think much of Network because Faye Dunaway's character was so over the top he couldn't buy it, but that" in ten years that woman was everywhere" and that Paddy Chayefsky had "cold predicted the future." He knew not to even try to one up that masterpiece.

johnselmerdix
johnselmerdix
0 posts
1 replies

No. Probably my first no.

Amy and I reacted the same way to watching this movie, I think. I thought it sucked, and I couldn't really wait for it to end. I haven't felt this way about any other Canon candidate, so it was a weird experience.

The breakup between Jane and Tom felt bizarre; the punishment didn't seem to fit the crime. Aaron is a pretty repulsive character, and I think we're supposed to side with him, at least partially. I didn't feel that the movie treated its characters symmetrically.

I do think Devin has a point that the nookie scene is maybe deeper than it first seems. The movie makes a point of showing the room full of emotional women, and their disgust at Aaron. But to what end? Maybe this is part of the whole "devil" theory. Could it be that the movie is making the point that these women are just idiots for being charmed by Tom? That if they were as rational as Aaron, they wouldn't be fooled by this crap? I don't know.

One more point: I really like Tom's relationship with his dad. It's the only character whose family is in the movie, and seems to be a big part of his life. It's seems like a really warm and honest relationship, and one which is pretty rare in movies. Sons and dads almost never get along in movies.

thebeautifulpuffin
thebeautifulpuffin
0 posts
8 replies

While I can't say that I agree with Devin that this was the most painful film discussion to listen to yet - that honor goes to the episode that pit LET THE RIGHT ONE IN against LET ME IN - but that's probably because I can't muster a lick of passion for BROADCAST NEWS. (and LTROI is possibly the finest film of the century thus far). Heh.

I'd love to vote this one in, Mr. F made some fine arguments for it's inclusion., but I just can't say YES to the film itself... JLB, sure, but not this effort.

hbr47
hbr47
2 posts
63 replies

Yes.

nickisterrified
nickisterrified
0 posts
3 replies

Yes

amarill
amarill
0 posts
5 replies

No. This is the most I've ever agreed with Amy, but this movie totally suxxxx (did I get the right number of x's?).
The middle of this movie is totally a mess, and it seems to sometimes set double standards between Aaron and Tom. And as a romcom, Working Girl is far superior. So on all counts this movie doesn't belong on The Canon.

wannamwa
wannamwa
0 posts
6 replies

No. It's alright. But just not Canon.

theseafairy
theseafairy
1 posts
42 replies

Get it get it, Amy. NO!

benh7
benh7
9 posts
68 replies

No

I absolutely agree with Amy. I think this film is all bluster but no point. It's no cynical enough to be Network. It's not sweet enough to be His Girl Friday. It's not ethical enough to be The Front Page. It's all to muddled and frankly dull. I just don't think any of it works and I'm glad I'm not the only one can't seem to see the value in this film.

payers
payers
0 posts
2 replies

No.

I enjoyed this movie back around the time it came out (Devin and I are bout the same age) but I just don't feel like it has held up.

It's a good movie, but not Canon worthy.

jonathanboriss
jonathanboriss
0 posts
21 replies

Yes

davhahn
davhahn
1 posts
15 replies

No.

This is a tough one and I've thought about it all day. I can't get behind almost any of Amy's arguments. Her complete disdain for this movie baffles me and I almost want to vote yes as a protest against her intractable position, but I have to go with Devin's logic from Working Girl on this one. Broadcast News is alright, but not great and not Canon-worthy to me. I enjoy the characters a little, the writing is good-ish and I like the setting, but it just doesn't amount to much. To continue the Working Girl comparisons, I thought that was a far superior podcast as well. I enjoy your arguments much more when they are reasoned and can see the other person's side a little (as Devin did there) rather than the fire and brimstone hate. I can't see how anyone could absolutely hate Broadcast News. I can see how they would think it was bland or a little boring sure. It's kind of like watching a slicker, longer episode of Murphy Brown at times (or a lot of the time).

James L. Brooks as a writer/director just doesn't reach Canon heights for me and I don't think any of those 6 movies should be included. Of that group I would put Broadcast News at the top of the list just within reach of the Canon. His mark on cinema and the entertainment industry is huge though, so I think he deserves inclusion as a producer where there are a couple worthy films he or his production company (Gracie Films) were involved with. Maybe even something like The Simpsons Movie should be included as a representative entry for the entire Simpsons ecosystem (probably not), but Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good As It Gets are about as good as it gets for Brooks as a writer/director and that's just not enough.

I didn't understand Devin's criticism of Albert Brooks as a poor man's Woody Allen at all. I prefer Brooks' comic neurosis to Allen's, even though Brooks is sort of an outgrowth of that type of comedy. Allen may be a slightly better comic and a better director, but Brooks is a better all-around actor and an equally fine writer. The series of roles and movies Brooks trotted out in the 80s/early 90s are some of my favorites.

I do actually think the cinematography goes a long way to establishing the world and helping to tell the story.

jhillman
jhillman
10 posts
132 replies

like Amy said, this movie suxxxxx. I'd vote Working Girl over this, and I gave Working Girl a no, so...

My Vote: NO

aj3000
aj3000
0 posts
9 replies

No.
It's fine, but not nearly as strong as Network (as a media criticism) or Working Girl (as a look at late 80s gender/work norms). Also, the music is terrible.

j32master
j32master
0 posts
2 replies

Yes.

re42scott
re42scott
1 posts
12 replies

Amy: so annoying this week. Let it go about WORKING GIRL - one vote or not, IT IS IN THE CANON!! I think BROADCAST NEWS is definitely better than WORKING GIRL, but...

I am actually siding with Amy and voting NO. As good as this movie is at times, it does get sappy in places where it is not warranted and it does have a bit of a sitcom feel to it that hampers its depth. As for Amy's insult about the cinematography...I do think it works since a lot of it takes place on TV sound stages with all the harsh lighting which that implies. The cinematography is not one of this movie's weaknesses. But again...NO to The Canon.

1uprusso
1uprusso
0 posts
3 replies

Yuuuup

SilverShade
SilverShade
0 posts
8 replies

I VOTE NO.

I like the movie fine, especially Albert Brooks' performance, but it doesn't strike me as a truly great movie.

oscarcritic
oscarcritic
0 posts
2 replies

No

Ribs
Ribs
1 posts
5 replies

Yes

phred86
phred86
1 posts
9 replies

Nah, it's good but not Canon level good

audfilm
audfilm
1 posts
5 replies

YES

codycroy
codycroy
0 posts
27 replies

YES.

crmcewen14
crmcewen14
0 posts
1 replies

No. It's a perfectly fine movie, but not Canon material.

ephenstephen
ephenstephen
0 posts
35 replies

I like BROADCAST NEWS but wouldn't say it's anywhere near Canon worthy.

No.

instantjim
instantjim
0 posts
6 replies

Yes yes yes yes yes. It is a screenplay that I'd put right up there with the work of Billy Wilder. I am reading people's criticisms of this film and it reads like a foreign language, unfathomable. Some of my closest film critic friends and I all love this movie from beginning to end, so to hear Amy's dismissal of it was shocking. I cannot comprehend anyone not loving this movie. It is comfort food, Hunter brings me to tears. I can quote it til the cows come home.

instantjim
instantjim
0 posts
6 replies

Yes yes yes yes yes. It is a screenplay that I'd put right up there with the work of Billy Wilder. I am reading people's criticisms of this film and it reads like a foreign language, unfathomable. Some of my closest film critic friends and I all love this movie from beginning to end, so to hear Amy's dismissal of it was shocking. I cannot comprehend anyone not loving this movie. It is comfort food, Hunter brings me to tears. I can quote it til the cows come home. The only time Brooks has steered me wrong is the ending of AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and SPANGLISH. Nearly everything else is bittersweet brilliance. Now, if you want to pit this against SAY ANYTHING... then maybe I'd be torn. There would be no SAY ANYTHING without this film, so for that alone I'm grateful.

instantjim
instantjim
0 posts
6 replies

Yes yes yes yes yes. It is a screenplay that I'd put right up there with the work of Billy Wilder. I am reading people's criticisms of this film and it reads like a foreign language, unfathomable. Some of my closest film critic friends and I all love this movie from beginning to end, so to hear Amy's dismissal of it was shocking. I cannot comprehend anyone not loving this movie. It is comfort food, Hunter brings me to tears. I can quote it til the cows come home. The only time Brooks has steered me wrong is the ending of AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and SPANGLISH. Nearly everything else is bittersweet brilliance. Now, if you want to pit this against SAY ANYTHING... then maybe I'd be torn. There would be no SAY ANYTHING without this film, so for that alone I'm grateful.

instantjim
instantjim
0 posts
6 replies

Yes yes yes yes yes. It is a screenplay that I'd put right up there with the work of Billy Wilder. I am reading people's criticisms of this film and it reads like a foreign language, unfathomable. Some of my closest film critic friends and I all love this movie from beginning to end, so to hear Amy's dismissal of it was shocking. I cannot comprehend anyone not loving this movie. It is comfort food, Hunter brings me to tears. I can quote it til the cows come home. The only time Brooks has steered me wrong is the ending of AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and SPANGLISH. Nearly everything else is bittersweet brilliance. Now, if you want to pit this against SAY ANYTHING... then maybe I'd be torn. There would be no SAY ANYTHING without this film, so for that alone I'm grateful.

instantjim
instantjim
0 posts
6 replies

Yes yes yes yes yes. It is a screenplay that I'd put right up there with the work of Billy Wilder. I am reading people's criticisms of this film and it reads like a foreign language, unfathomable. Some of my closest film critic friends and I all love this movie from beginning to end, so to hear Amy's dismissal of it was shocking. I cannot comprehend anyone not loving this movie. It is comfort food, Hunter brings me to tears. I can quote it til the cows come home. The only time Brooks has steered me wrong is the ending of AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and SPANGLISH. Nearly everything else is bittersweet brilliance. Now, if you want to pit this against SAY ANYTHING... then maybe I'd be torn. There would be no SAY ANYTHING without this film, so for that alone I'm grateful.

trugh25
trugh25
0 posts
3 replies

Amy hasn't been this wrong since the Goodfella's episode. Hell yes this is Canon worthy.

andyrayfritz
andyrayfritz
1 posts
65 replies

I vote no. We don't need Broadcast News in the Canon since we already have a clearly superior workplace comedy with Joan Cusack.

smithdoc
smithdoc
0 posts
8 replies

nope.

martyreasoner
martyreasoner
0 posts
1 replies

Yes 1. You do not see three multi faceted and properly fleshed out and flawed characters executed in a film love triangle very often. 2. The commitment to being an unexaggerated and complicated depiction of a workplace and a romance is unparalleled.

There are faults: too long, dull cinematography (I agree Amy), somewhat confused/ ambiguous message, the epilogue was lame and unnecessary

docpotato
docpotato
0 posts
5 replies

A very conflicted no, here.

This is one of those episodes where I'm yelling "you're both right" at the radio as I drive to work. I loved BN when I first saw it, but I was aghast at some of the filmmaking on a recent re-watch. It is very, very sitcommy, annoyingly so. I think it's funny to pit this up against Working Girl because they both have a similar feeling to me. Good movies. Smart movies, and overall so-so movies.

However, the Joan Cusack scene alone is an all-timer and I'm tempted to say it makes it in just on that bit. But throw everything with Albert Brooks, including his speech and (disagreeing with Amy here) a very well-written lead female character who's allowed to have contradictions and different aspects to her personality... and I wanna say yes.

But all those leaden cuts to REACTION shots of people's faces REACTING to something, and that utterly STUPID bit with the box of condoms and so many other things like that.... I gotta say No. It's not good enough.

makavejev
makavejev
0 posts
1 replies

No.

RocheB
RocheB
2 posts
35 replies

Yes, Broadcast News should be in the Canon. For what's it worth, I'm a male viewer who also liked Working Girl :).

For all the research James L. Brooks did, I don't think he was interested in taking a satyrical view of TV news. For me, BROADCAST NEWS was about the limits of applying personal values to an organization; the movie could have had the same beats had it been called START-UP or LUMBER YARD.

Of course I identify with the Albert Brooks and Hurt, but I never felt like they were being congratulated for their personalities. They, along with Hunter, struck me as flawed characters and I was humbled by the similarities. Brooks' Aaron was a warning, not a pat on the back.

As far as the look of the film, I think it does a good job of looking like it's supposed to look - like an office from the 80s. Movies like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN or ZODIAC have thematic permission to mess with the appearance of office settings, but in this case I thought Michael Ballhaus (incidentally, the cinematographer for Goodfellas and Working Girl) was correct in making a more mundane choice.

On the basis of the episode, I think BN would make a good Canon Commentary selection.

mistermccracken
mistermccracken
0 posts
9 replies

Yes. This is one of my all-time favorite movies, which made this week's podcast an absolutely maddening listen. It's generosity to it's characters, and it's ability to comment on the state of the news through it's character is remarkable. It's made of subtler stuff than something like NETWORK, but I honestly think it's a far better movie for creating what feels like real people, instead of archetypes.

waltisfrozen
waltisfrozen
1 posts
14 replies

Nope. It's a good movie, but hardly great. Even at his best, James L Brooks' movies are like good television (back when the quality divide between tv and movies was stark).

adamyencho
adamyencho
0 posts
1 replies

I have to go with "Yes" on this one, if only for Albert Brooks' flop sweat scene. The camera guy's remarks always get me. I feel like that scene really captures what it's like working on a news set.

I also appreciate the characters "muddy-ness." The central three characters feel like real people; some of their actions are hypocritical, but that's how real people act.

saoirseronantheaccuser
saoirseronantheaccuser
9 posts
67 replies

YES.

I think this is funnier than WORKING GIRL, smarter than WORKING GIRL, and far more sharply observed than WORKING GIRL. But I also thought it was more empathetic than WORKING GIRL, because, rather than create a Perfect Fantasy Woman and pit her against the Professional Btch, the film asked us to understand and empathize with the Professional Btch. Jane can shout and cry, she can be aggressive and lusty, and the movie doesn't punish or shame her for that. Indeed, the film respects her on a level that it simply doesn't with Tom and Aaron.

I do understand Amy's point about the movie being a romcom for guys, because, yeah, both Aaron and Tom are fully fleshed out characters in a way most romcom male leads are not. But I think that's because this is a romcom largely stripped of fantasy. The handsome cad is actually a likable oaf trying to do right but failing; the smart-but-ignored childhood friend is actually a controlling (but funny!) *sshole with self-esteem issues. It gives Jane the freedom to say - I deserve better.

I also don't like the argument that just because Brooks empathizes most with Aaron means he prioritizes Aaron's worldview or thinks he's in the right. Brooks gives Aaron at least two 'monumentally sh*tty "nice guy" monologues' through the film that show that, yeah, he's smart, but he's also bitter and kind of cruel and doesn't really realize it, and gives him the flopsweat anchor moment to show that he's not as invaluable as he thinks. Thinking that this is about Aaron being in the friendzone because he's too smart is a PROFOUND misreading of damn near every second of the film, to me.

something_bees
something_bees
1 posts
6 replies

Total yes.

craigaburke1
craigaburke1
1 posts
6 replies

definite no, Amy's right. too mediocre.

mg
mg
1 posts
7 replies

No. Dialogue-wise it's a sparkling movie, but Amy's right about the murkiness of the movie's point and the unrealistic characters. Bull-Durham is exactly the superior movie with the same construction, and the construction of both is a basic romantic comedy decorated with enough masculine window dressing to make it palatable to dudes. Which is hilarious, but not Canon-worthy.

And I couldn't agree more with Amy's point about how men can access this movie and won't do the same for Working Girl or similar. Brilliant.

dylanhaasign
dylanhaasign
1 posts
11 replies

Yes.

ringo81
ringo81
0 posts
10 replies

Definite yes.

wesleysharer
wesleysharer
0 posts
15 replies

Yes, but huge thank you to Amy for making this is such a great episode! Love these contentious debates.

saburo
saburo
0 posts
1 replies

Yes, if only for the news jingle segment. Viva la Eighties!

penda5
penda5
0 posts
43 replies

No, it's not as bad as Amy makes it sound, but not as good as Devin makes it sound either.

kickmuncher3
kickmuncher3
2 posts
47 replies

tentative Yes.

To be honest, I don't enjoy ANY of James L. Brooks' film work. I find all his films incredibly dull. His dialogue doesn't feel natural or the good kind of stylized. The only reason I'm voting yes is because Brooks' impact has earned a spot in the canon and this is his least terrible film in my opinion. If Broadcast News gets in, I can confidently vote no on all future James L. Brooks films, which I plan to do.

claykeller
claykeller
0 posts
7 replies

YES.

I am astounded that people are writing this off as a "friend zone" romcom or a subpar Network. First of all, the Network comparison is a false equivalent. Broadcast News is not a scathing, fire and brimstone media satire like Network or Nightcrawler (though it's views on the future of news is remarkably prescient). it is a story of three brilliantly drawn characters trying to negotiate feelings and morals, done with an insight and specificity that is almost unheard of in Hollywood. There are no villains, no obvious answers, and (thank God) no end of the second act easily explainable misunderstanding that pulls the characters apart for no reason.

The performances are pitch-perfect, Holly Hunter is luminous and the dialogue is not only unbelievably smart and funny, but it is always driven by and revealing of character. Every word deepens our understanding of these people and the richness of their world.

Lastly, I'm not sure how everyone is watching it, but Broadcast News is far from visually flat or ugly. The Criterion blu-ray is gorgeous. And anyone who says the direction is dull is simply not paying attention. Just one example, but the sequence when they have to do the special report on the Libyan fighter attack is a breathless, dynamic, intense and funny piece of virtuoso filmmaking.

Broadcast News is a treasure. We don't deserve it. Amy broke my heart with this one.

gustav3
gustav3
0 posts
1 replies

No

notthewhostommy
notthewhostommy
0 posts
7 replies

I'll give a huge YES for this one. It's a charming movie, but also a prescient one in terms of its grounded exploration of journalism and human dynamics.

withoutcanseco
withoutcanseco
0 posts
5 replies

Nay. It's fine I guess, but not canon.

sjardimt
sjardimt
1 posts
4 replies

No. Again I think we are being way to inclusive if we vote a movie like Broadcast News in the canon. I liked the episode there were good points on both sides but ultimately I agree more with Amy on this one.

jackterry
jackterry
1 posts
16 replies

Huge yes. Broadcast News is a comedy 100% fit for the canon.

mwerner4
mwerner4
0 posts
6 replies

I'm a yes, but I do agree with a few of Amy's criticisms; especially that the film is not sympathetic at all toward Tom. I love that it owns up to what a jerk Aaron is (unlike certain other 80's comedies... cough Pretty in Pink cough), but it should have given both of the men two sides. That said, I did really enjoy it. I loved the Jane character and thought Holly Hunter was brilliant, and I'm always a huge fan of Albert Brooks.

joedela
joedela
0 posts
7 replies

No. I would have thought this would have been a slam dunk yes, but after watching this film in light of the previous five weeks' films it falls short of being Canon-level. This film is The Newsroom to Network's Sports Night.

marcpilvinsky
marcpilvinsky
0 posts
6 replies

Yes, absolutely. I'm almost always in agreement with Devin and I really appreciate Amy's unique way of looking at movies -- more than once she has caused me to re-evaluate my opinion of a movie -- but I'm sort of floored by how much I disagree with her on this one. I just don't see where she's coming from at all. I wouldn't have a problem with this movie being in somebody's list of the top 50 movies of all time. Films very, very rarely get better than this.

actiondoctor
actiondoctor
0 posts
27 replies

YES for me.

I'm surprised that one of Amy's arguments against Broadcast News was that it gets a pass since it's a romantic comedy that men also seem to enjoy. She nominated the far inferior Jerry Maguire which to me is the ultimate romantic comedy for men.

therealsobreiro
therealsobreiro
6 posts
109 replies

@muthsara I don't know if you're using "bland" the same way I am. You seem to think a bland movie equals "mature, understated, non-flashy entertainment for sophisticated people". I used "bland" as in "dull, insipid, lacking vigour". Broadcast News stroke me as very uninspired, very pedestrian and unremarkable, a beige, ugly-looking movie more fit to be watched in a tiny screen than a movie theatre.

alt0782
alt0782
2 posts
42 replies

It's a no from me. I like this one more than I like Working Girl and don't really agree with Amy's read of the film (save for this being nostalgic for some journalistic standard that has never really existed). I also find it weird that you guys are expecting some sort of change in these characters when the movie opens showing you that they are who they are and they will never change. See FCH's article about character arcs on BMD for further reading. http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/01/09/film-crit-hulk-smash-nightcrawler-and-why-movies-dont-need-character-arcs

As far as the politics, I feel like the film does kind of land in a place where Brooks is ok with broadcast news taking on the shape of something Werner Herzog would describe as 'ecstatic truth'. I don't know if I'd call that conservative as much as a cynical acquiescence to the way the world works. It's ok that guys like Tom are selling you on the story using a little guile when it's brought in concert with a strong moral stand (Hunter) and well-researched facts (Brooks). So in the end the three of them find a way to make it work. Brooks can go on being an idealist in the small market. Hunter can't break the machine, but she can sit at the controls. And Hurt can keep on doing whatever dopey thing he wants to keep doing. I get that can be a little defeating if you're an idealist, but to mangle a quote from another favorite of mine, "all dreams must die at waking."

Say, speaking of romantic stories where the female lead dies alone, can we get a Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) episode?

hoombop
hoombop
0 posts
6 replies

Yes! Absolutely Yes!

ian49
ian49
0 posts
5 replies

YES. Broadcast News is a wonderful film and Canon worthy film. I first saw it several years ago and rewatched it for the podcast this week, so my memory of it is fresh.

It is a funny, well-written and an excellent examination of a profession and the professionals that work within it. There is something great about watching a job be done well by people that care about it, and that is why on this rewatch my favorite scene was when Tom acted as anchor for the first time. The interplay between Tom out on the set, Jane in the control room and Aaron calling in with tips from home is so great. The scene is full of energy and admiration for each of the characters and the role they have in creating good news.

One of my favorite parts about it was how well it handled the characters. It would be so easy to make either Tom or Aaron be the bad guy, but the film took the more mature and nuanced route. They are both flawed characters, but they are filled with redeeming qualities as well. Tom is aware of his shortcomings and tries hard to better himself. Aaron is smart, principled and cuttingly funny. Jane is a great character. She's passionate, competent, funny, insecure and the film has so much love for her and what she represents.

Broadcast News is full of well rounded characters, quotable lines and strong performances.

edve
edve
0 posts
2 replies

No.
I agree with Amy.

cmq
cmq
0 posts
15 replies

Big fat no for Broadcast News, it's not a bad movie but worthy of The Canon? No way.

threshold
threshold
4 posts
54 replies

Also- There have been only two times when Amy has been totally wrong.
Pan's Labyrinth and this.
I think if this movie doesn't go in the Canon, Working Girl should be removed as well just so fans of Working Girl can perhaps rethink why they have that opinion.

ryanmarkdell
ryanmarkdell
0 posts
2 replies

Absolutely not. There are way better James L Brooks movies, better Albert Brooks movies, better William Hurt movies, etc.. I'd rather see Modern Romance in the canon than this movie. The most notable thing about Broadcast News is its' Oscar nominations.

Firm no.

himartinson
himartinson
3 posts
189 replies

YEA.

Are you kidding me?? Of course this goes into the canon. I mean, Christ. How is that even up for debate? Were we watching the same film? Some points here just don't really make sense. Isn't the ending of Working Girl kind of the same? They both get to work and have jobs they're passionate about.

Also, Devin brings up a point that the movie makes, which is that we had the same problems in Network as we do in Broadcast News that we go on to have in Nightcrawler, which is that we have the same problems then as we do now. We see this in our characters. Tom will always rely on superficiality to succeed. Jane will always choose being right over everything, including relationships with everyone ranging from her dad to her love interests. Aaron will always be snarky and sensitive to compensate for his resentment that no one seems to appreciate his brilliance. The ending is amazing, because it reinforces a lot of what gets established early on, particularly in regards to the dynamic of its characters. Jane and Aaron will always be friends, and Tom is forever an interloper that is enamored by whatever shiny things catch his attention. There is nothing new. We'll have the same problems and faults, but we can always fall back into suitable rhythms. As foggy as that's reached, I think it's kind of interesting that the film makes that point.

And also, that sequence where they're playing telephone with each other is breathtaking craftsmanship.

topicality
topicality
0 posts
2 replies

Just finished watching it and registered to vote no.

It's a fine and enjoyable movie. But when I think about what's canon worthy I think about something that is either technically ground breaking, culturally significant, and/or great example of the movie form.

And Broadcast News just isn't. It's primarily the tired friend-zoned love triangle story. Hanging around it are stories dealing with journalistic integrity and corporate structure though it never does a deep dive into either of them.

Granted the acting is great and the characters are well fleshed out. I don't think it really bumps it into "must see" category.

pajamo
pajamo
0 posts
12 replies

Yes!

pajamo
pajamo
0 posts
12 replies

YES!!!! One of my top three films of all time.

One of the first time's I realized as a film lover how important it is to have a script shift alliances between characters.

tblanco
tblanco
2 posts
13 replies

Whoops, I thought we had network. Well, shit. We need that movie, not this pale shadow. Nightcrawler vs network would be a fun and mean versus. Not this. Please.

muthsarah
muthsarah
7 posts
115 replies

Yes, put "Broadcast News" in. Don't have much time to get into it (I started this comment at the bottom), but it's a kind of film that's very of-its-time, and just generally well-made. It's just kinda strange because they don't make 'em like this anymore. I think that's a shame. It's a movie about smart people (yes, even Tom) doing skilled work and bouncing off of each other. Opposites clash, similarities attract. That's actually what real life is like. This film doesn't feel like "cinema", in that Hollywood dream factory way. It feels more like a slice of time. I meant to say "slice of life" right there, but this works too.

I like movies that are dated in this way. Snapshots.

@TBlanco When did we get Network?

@TheRealSobreiro It's bland because it's 80s, and you could tell bland stories back then and get away with it, because they made movies for adults. Like professional adults. With talking. It sure struck me first time I saw it (a month or two ago), but if I voted against every 70s movie that looked creepy and dirty, I'd be ignoring...like...a lot of movies. It's just a sign of times. Like high pants and big hair.

P.S. Never see The Big Chill.

P.P.S. Devin, second week in a row you did your impression of "The Creation of Adam" (well, with an OT God).

ss7
ss7
3 posts
28 replies

Hell no. I'll be really bummed if this mediocre movie makes it into The Canon. It's basically a movie about how frustrating being in the friend zone is when you know you're smarter than the guy the girl you like is into. When Albert Brook's kid calls William Hurt's character "a big joke" at the end and William Hurt's character is saddened by it, it's pretty clear the film is saying that pretty people lower our standards when we buy into their facade and that intelligent women are doomed to be unhappy, because they intimidate pretty guys and their standards are too high for average looking, like-minded men. It makes one feeble attempt at some type of insight into how manufactured the content our news networks feed us is and spends the other two hours on a dumb pretty dude, a love-sick, high-strung woman and a frustrated smart guy circling each other with hard ons. It's shot poorly and is reminiscent of a TV movie in regards to its tonal shifts from quirky comedy to emotionally charged confessions of love. Feels like it was written by a bitter dude who's spent too much time watching his female friends choose everyone but him, but with an unrealistic ending where he emerges victorious. What a waste of an episode of The Canon. NIGHTCRAWLER or NETWORK deserve to be in The Canon, not this TV movie of the week.

ohitsjustdavid
ohitsjustdavid
0 posts
1 replies

I've agreed with Amy over Devin a few times on this show, but this week is one of those ones where her opinions baffle me. I have to vote one big fucking YES! I came to Broadcast News in the last few years and it quickly became one of my favorite movies. I keep trying to type out why I love it but I'm not as good at expressing my feelings on movies as Devin or Amy are. I will say one thing in regard to Amy's comment about wishing more men liked Working Girl as much as they liked Broadcast News. I really enjoyed Working Girl a few weeks ago and it was my first time watching it, but I must have missed the poll she sent out to all of us men.

marsellus_h
marsellus_h
5 posts
202 replies

No. Too much drama, too little insight, honestly.

What I liked about WORKING GIRL was that certain insight to what life is really about, which totally was missing in BROADCAST NEWS: Remember that last shot outside of the office building? That's how insignificant humanity really is... Even if not all the characters have the most elaborate story arch, this gives the audience something back, that will linger on. Live and let live, so to speak. In BN on the other hand, even Holly Hunter's "critical" character isn't really much of a character to me, more of a archetype. Zero story arch, zero insight. But enough with the comparisons, which aren't entierly fair anyway, since this was a single film episode.

But even if I consider the merits of BN on its own, I'm not convinced. I feel like it's half an hour too long, and it doesn't really go anywhere. Also, I feel like the politics of this film is very strange, kind of conservative: in Brooks' world, family is the non-plus-ultra goal of everybody. Holly Hunter's character is unhappy because she can't have both, career and love, she needs to decide, and in the end she's unhappy - which can be a fine story to tell, but the film depicts her decisions leading up to that unhappiness as kind of bad, I think, and the end clearly punishes her. It seemed a bit too negative towards progres, to mee. Also, the movie's technical aspects didn't convince me at all.

We don't have Network, do we?

miloharms
miloharms
0 posts
1 replies

An unequivocal YES. I've never felt so strongly about a movie getting into the canon. One of the greatest romantic comedies of all-time.

nickperkins
nickperkins
7 posts
34 replies

NO. My opinion lies somewhere between Devin and Amy's. It was fine, but I don't understand what the fuss is about.

tblanco
tblanco
2 posts
13 replies

No. We already have working girl and network. Let's do terms of endearment if we need James brooks.

therealsobreiro
therealsobreiro
6 posts
109 replies

NO.

I didn't dislike the movie as strongly as Amy did, I liked the performances of the three main characters and some of the clever lines... But I was taken aback at how BLAND this damn movie is! it's so mediocre and unremarkable, I don't think it deserves to be in the Canon. Everybody involved has done better movies.

musachaudhry
musachaudhry
0 posts
2 replies

Yes

threshold
threshold
4 posts
54 replies

YES

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